We are all going through challenging times right now. The whole World seems to be frozen in space and time, waiting quiet and still. We don’t see people hugging and laughing on the streets, we don’t meet with our friends for brunch on a Sunday late morning, we don’t see our colleagues at work/school. Where is everyone? Home, where we all should be in these hard times. Waiting for this pandemic to be over, supporting our medical systems and stuff and supporting each other.
Staying alone at home for a long period of time can be alone a big challenge for most of the active people that are used to have a busy schedule everyday. Even if most of us are still working everyday from home, it doesn’t feel the same and we spend most of our free time thinking about the way it used to be.
I am here to support my community and to share a few tips for surviving in these hard days while still respecting social distancing.
1 Have a Routine
Having a routine is a good way to keep yourself busy and active. It can be a different routine that what you used to have up until now, but you still have to try to create a schedule for yourself that can work. For example try to go to bed and wake up at the same hour everyday, even if you used to wake up at 6am in order to arrive on time to work, well now you can try to move that hour further and wake up everyday at 8am. Try to have your usual meals at roughly the same time everyday and try to find activities that are the same each day. For example create a schedule like so:
- 8am – wake up time
- 9am – breakfast
- 9:30-10:30 – meditation
- 10:30 -13 – work
- 13-15 – preparing lunch + lunching with family
- and from now on you can do various activities each day like sports 2-3 times a week, drawing, painting, dancing, learning a new skill etc
2 Learn Something New
Speaking of creating a routine, you can try each day to learn a new skill. It will keep you active and occupied for a big part of the day and it will help to improve yourself and who knows, maybe it will be something that will come in handy in the near future.
Amongst the things that you can try are:
- reading books ( I have a list with books that I’ve read and books on my Wishlist on my Goodreads account)
- learn a new language ( I have been using the Duolingo app to learn basics in a new language, right now I am trying to learn Spanish)
- paint or draw – drawing or painting is a very relaxing and therapeutic activity, even if you are not very good at it you can try to create simple art and you will see how good it will make you feel and more relaxed
- if you don’t know how to cook yet, well now is the time to learn. Call you mom, your grandma or your best friend and spend time in the kitchen while they are guiding you through a recipe that they master
- try an online course, or if you want free courses there are plenty YouTube videos out there
3 Spend Time With Yourself
This might sound very weird but it is a good time to discover yourself and to listen to yourself. Have you ever spend time to reflect on your goals? I have never got the time to do it! All the time at the beginning of the year we are saying new year new me or these are my new year’s resolutions but do we really mean it?
I suggest you to get a plain notebook and start writing down each day your feelings, the things that went well and the things that didn’t, together with a set of goals that you are planning to achieve in the near future but also some goals for the long run. It is helpful to visualise where you want to be, it will encourage you to push yourself and get there.
In this category I will include also watching movies or series that are not very challenging (unlike documentaries) and that will make you feel relaxed and at peace.
4 Don’t Fully Isolate Yourself
I know that in these times we are supposed to social distance ourselves from the people that we love, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t use technology in your favour. I bet that your best friend will be thrilled to get a video call from you one in a while and if you can, do the same your grandparents or parents. My grandma is mastering the internet lately so I do speak with her all the time online and we send each other pictures of the things we do.
If you are living with your family or with friends, try to find activities that you can do together so the time will pass easier. Here are some things that you can do together and they might be fun:
- play board games with your family members or with your co-tenant ( if you have acmes to a printer I am leaving here a link to download for free Cards Against Humanity, it is a pretty fun game that encourages conversation)
- cook something together
- make a karaoke night
- make a themed night (you can watch movies from different decades and try to create an appropriate atmosphere and dress accordingly to the chosen decade)
- play online games with your friends
- you can even try to put on a play by Skype with your friends. Maybe you will discover that you are a great actor/actress and you will switch your career
5 Take Care of Yourself
Just because you are not getting out of the house anymore that doesn’t mean you can spend the whole day in your pyjamas. No, no. Try everyday to get yourself together and imagine that you are going out. Dress nicely, comb your hair, do your make-up if that is part of your daily routine, brush your teeth and don’t forget about your skincare routine.
6 Don’t Check The News Obsessively
You want to stay informed, I get that. I want too. But checking the news every 15 minutes won’t change a thing in the world and certainly won’t make you feel better. Decide one or 2 times a day when you will check the news and for how long and do it according to your schedule. This way you will not sit in front of the TV all the afternoon waiting for new information to drop, but you will still know what’s going on in the world.
7 Support Small Businesses
By now I believe we all have found out the consequences of this social distancing phenomenon. The most affected and the first ones that can collapse are the small businesses, the ones that were started with har work and dedication and that are not big enough to get through these hard times that we are living. We are the ones that can and should support them right now, so they can bring us joy when this is all over. I will make a list of small Romanian brands that I love following. I have purchased from some of them and from others not yet but they are brands that I do believe in and that I want to see after all of this situation is gone. If you are not feeling comfortable to buy online items and to be delivered to your house, one thing you can do is buy giftcards.
8 Keep Moving
9 Declutter Your Home and Your Life
I don’t know about you, but for me the first week of staying at home I made more of a mess than I would make in a whole month. I was having mixed feelings so I started moving things around, getting clothes out of the closet, getting out the make-up that was expired and don’t get me wrong all of these were perfect moves but the bad thing that I was doing was that none of these ended up where they were supposed to be. So the house became a big hot mess with clothes on the floors, make-up all over the bathroom and so on.
Don’t follow my example. What I am trying to say is that this free time that you have is the perfect time to get your life in order. You can finally get rid of all the products that are expired in your bathroom, you can finally sort all of your clothing items and you can start splitting them into categories: keep, donations, sell. All of the declutter that you never had the time to do, now you can do.
What you can do also is to declutter your life. Get rid of all those things that are making you feel sad, reminiscing about those memories, declutter your phone from all of those useless screenshots that I know you also have and start planning for the future.
10 Seek For Help
Don’t feel ashamed of the fact that you are overwhelmed by the situation. There are great psychologists out there that maybe are ready to offer you help online. I have seen many people that are even offering their services for free.
If speaking with a professional is not your cup of tea, you can always count on your friends. I bet you are not the only one feeling the way you do, but maybe you will be the one brave enough to start the conversation.
In the end I want to remind you to wash your hands frequntly, try to stay inside as much as possible and stay positive, everything will be ok.